Monday, June 09, 2014

David Rivera in More Trouble

Judge W. David Watkins ruled that former Florida House Rep. David Rivera improperly billed the state of Florida for travel expenses.

"Respondent (Rivera) personally authorized the travel expenses which were charged to his credit cards,'' Watkins wrote. "He also personally signed and submitted the travel reimbursement requests to the state of Florida. Finally, Respondent also personally signed the campaign account checks used to pay off his credit card balances. Respondent individually, and without the participation of anyone else, personally orchestrated this sequence of events. Thus, Respondent knowingly and intentionally received travel reimbursements from the state of Florida to which he was not entitled."

Translation: Rivera used state money to pay off his personal credit card bills. Rivera paid off travel expenses with his campaign account. Rivera then billed the state of Florida for the same travel and used that money for his personal use.

The FBI is currently investigating Rivera for unreported campaign contributions to Justin Lamar Sternad. Rivera used Ana Alliegro to hand deliver money to Sternad. This is known because Sternad has testified to a grand jury. Sternad was quoted in an FEC filing.

“The contribution was given to me, in cash, by a third party from Ana Alliegro. I later discovered that Ana Alliegro was working with David Rivera,” Sternad wrote in an amended report that the FEC posted Jan. 30.

Ana Alliegro fled to for Nicaragua. Alliegro is currently in a United States jail and has lost her passport. She has pleaded not guilty to making a false statement, conspiring and making illegal campaign contributions. Bond has been refused.

Judge Watkins has sent his ruling to the Florida's ethics commission for review. The ethics commission will likely not favor Rivera.

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